...whereas before I could not. Or at least, not very well. Perhaps you didn't know that. Or perhaps I allowed myself the illusion that you didn't know that.
When I was three years old, I had massive ear infections which prompted the doctor to swaddle me tight in a sheet and stick needles into my ears to lance the infections. That's what they did in those days. These days I believe they surgically insert tubes in the child's ear which is, to be sure, much less trauma-inducing. Whether it is any more effective is moot. It seems, however, a likely candidate for blaming my piss poor hearing. When I finally ended up in an otologists office, the official word was that I have "bilateral hearing loss in the human voice range."
When I was first tested, it was deemed only a marginal loss, hardly worthy of hearing aids. Which was a damn good thing because I would be buried in clover before I'd wear a hearing aid. Me? I mean, I was practically nubile at the time and hearing aids are for OOOOOOOOOLLLLLLLD people.
Then a couple of years ago, the electric wires started speaking to me. Truly. Walking down the street, I heard a constant hum. The hum turned to a SHHHUSSSHHHH and another trip to the ear doctor yielded the diagnosis "tinnitus", an untreatable, incurable, put-up-with-it-till-you-die condition which layered a constant white noise over my normal piss poor hearing.
A lot of the time I live in my own little world. If you're not facing me or if your mouth is covered, chances are I can't hear you too well. You may think I'm deeply involved in conversation, but I'm really sitting there thinking, "this is amazing...I can't hear shit."
In some ways it was like having a little secret with myself--lookee, I get to play with me and you can't join in. Nah! nah! In most ways, it was ridiculous because I am so very much a social being and I was locked out of the group. So, finally, yesterday, I hied myself to Whisper Hearing Aid Center and got fitted for a Savia Art, this cute little thing that comes in colors, which promises to "address all my communication needs."
I thought about getting it in green, which is my favorite color and it was such a pretty emerald, but instead I ordered the Black and Silver, to match my hair, of course. I only got one--because, well, maybe I don't really want to hear all that well all the time. My own little world is a pretty cool place to be, at least some of the time.